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2009/01/15 10:31 KST
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 37 (January 15, 2009)


SEOUL (Yonhap) -- The following is a chronological review of major developments related to North Korea from Jan. 8-14.

8 Residents of North Hamgyong Province and workers of railway ministry hold rallies resolving to thoroughly carry out tasks presented in a New Year's joint editorial.

   8 (North) Korean Central Broadcasting Station (KCBS) says members of the Socialist Youth League held a rally in Pyongyang on Jan. 7 resolving to fulfill tasks presented in the New Year's joint editorial.

   8 KCBS says mass rallies were held on Jan. 7 in South Pyongan, North Pyongan, North Hwanghae and South Hamgyong provinces pledging to fulfill tasks presented in the New Year's editorial.

   8 Foreign minister Pak Ui-chun receives credentials from Sarveshwar Puri, representative of the World Health Organization to Pyongyang.

   8 Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), sends a congratulatory message to John Evans Atta Mills on his election as president of Ghana.

   8 (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says Premier Kim Yong-il sent a congratulatory message to Sheikh Hasina on Jan. 5 upon her appointment as prime minister of Bangladesh.

   9 A delegation of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs headed by Hu Zhengyue, assistant to the foreign minister, flies into Pyongyang.

   9 A meeting of senior officials of Chongryon, or the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, is held in Tokyo in support of a New Year's joint editorial setting North Korea's state goals for 2009.

   10 A ceremony is held at Wonsan Youth Power Plant in the eastern port city of Wonsan to mark the completion of the facility. Kim Yong-il, during the ceremony, delivered a letter of thanks from North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to those who involved in the construction of the plant.

   10 Choson Sinbo, the publication of Chongryon, says some 30 new national records were established in such events as weightlifting, shooting, archery and swimming at domestic athletic meets in 2008.

   10 KCBS says workers in the metal, power, coal mine and railway transportation industries held rallies resolving to fulfill tasks presented in the New Year's joint editorial.

   11 Rodong Sinmun, in a commentary on Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso's visit to South Korea, claims strengthened cooperation between South Korea's conservative government and Japan would only bring only the negative consequence of further damaging inter-Korean relations.

   12 KCNA reports that the SPA Presidium adopted a decision on Jan. 6 to organize a state election watchdog that will oversee the elections of the 12th-term deputies to the SPA.

   12 Pak Ui-chun sends a congratulatory message to Dipu Moni, on her appointment as Bangladesh's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

   12 Pak Ui-chun confers with the Chinese foreign ministry delegation led by Hu Zhengyue, assistant to the foreign minister. The delegation returned home on the same day, wrapping up a four-day visit to Pyongyang.

   12 KCNA says the 13th exhibit of Kimjongilia, a hybrid species of the begonia flower named after North Korea's leader, will open in Pyongyang in mid-February in celebration of his birthday which falls on Feb. 16.

   13 KCNA says Pyongyang released Yoshiaki Sawada, former department director of the Enterprise Co., Ltd, of Japan, whom it has been holding since 2003 for allegedly attempting to smuggle drugs on "humanitarian" grounds.

   13 KCBS says workers engaged in the light industry, fisheries and commerce, held rallies resolving to fulfill tasks presented in the New Year's joint editorial.

   13 A main ceremony is held at People's Palace of Culture to mark the 50th anniversary of Worker-Peasant Red Guards.

   13 KCNA says Kim Jong-il inspected the Taean Heavy Machine Complex and the Kumsong Tractor Plant in Nampho on the North's west coast.

   13 Kim Yong-nam sends a message of sympathy to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, president of Indonesia in connection with the sinking of a passenger ship in the waters off Sulawesi Island of Indonesia which caused big causalities.

   13 Foreign Ministry spokesman issues a statement saying Washington should normalize relations with Pyongyang as a precondition for its denuclearization.

   14 KCNA reports that provincial, city and county committees for the election of deputies to the 12th SPA have been formed and that election preparations are underway throughout the country.